Published: 22nd September 2021
This online career counselling platform is helping students make a scientific decision
With a comprehensive testing and assessment system, this digital platform is adding method to the madness of taking career decisions in India
How does a student in India settle on a career path? Surely, deciding the course of your life should demand thorough introspection and research? And surely, surely, it should be based on more than just what seems to be working for a cousin of yours, or what pays best, what the greater percentage of your class seems to be doing, or the unfulfilled dreams of family. Romanticising career and work as “pursuing hobbies and interests” doesn’t seem right either.
Started in 2015 under Sunil Dalal’s Unidel Group, Proteen was launched in the same year as a research project, taking a deeper look at the gaps in the education system that left kids practically on their own at crucial junctures of decision making. Now, Proteen is a digital platform that works with both schools and individuals across the country, providing career counselling interventions at the high school stage. Psychometric tests have been around for a while now and they are said to assess where an individual might be able to work best based on the four parameters of interest, personality, aptitude and intelligence, and this is the metric that Proteen uses as the initial step in the counselling they provide.
Lockdown blues: Disconnected from peers and teachers, students felt even more lost about career options and choices during the pandemic, making the need for a comprehensive online intervention necessary
Managing Director Paridhi Khaitan says that the problem lies in the non-scientific ways of career counselling, which are based simply on grades and the interests of the students. “Just because you are good in academics, doesn’t mean that you need to get into the sciences. Recently, we had someone who had completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and wanted to get into the defence services. We got an understanding of his personality through the psychometric assessment and guidance, and we realised that there was something lacking in him that didn't make him a good fit for the army. However, during that process, sports and fitness really caught his attention. He had great body kinesthetic. He is still attempting the NDF exams, but is already making headway in the sports and fitness space,” she shares.
3D Awareness Engine: The team at Proteen wanted to make sure that they have other ecosystem stakeholders and so a parents portal is also in the works
Proteen has worked with about 150 schools and institutes so far and has built a network of career centres, partnering with outfits in local markets and equipping them with the tech. The first such was taken on board in Surat in February this year. The platform has been working on a beta version of its 3D Awareness Engine that puts students through a test and counselling session and contains 600 career demos and 3,000+ experiential tasks and role plays which, Paridhi says, will provide students with essential insights on their career interests. At the end, the engine will offer three best-suited options for students to pick from. “We have designed it so it isn’t an intimidating experience, the test is broken into multiple sections that need not be attempted at one go. The assessment is more elaborate. We have improved analytics and the report is like an autobiography,” Paridhi shares.
Career counselling cells (CCCs) are mandated by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for higher education institutions
One of the bigger roadblocks that the team hits is resistance from parents. “Having parents as part of the conversation with the counsellor has become crucial for us to avoid friction with them. Oftentimes, they say they want their child to select a particular field and what the test and the counselling process has suggested isn't in line with that. We need to provide process-oriented guidance and let them understand why we are doing this,” she says.
Reach out: proteen.com